I’m leaving doTERRA… but not leaving doTERRA!

Some people can have their hands in 20 different pursuits and thrive. Some people have a single focus and prefer to do just that. I’m somewhere in between: if I’m doing one too many things, I get burnt out, but if I’m only doing one thing, I also get burnt out (and feel unfulfilled). I’m learning to find that balance.

Becoming part of the Daily Essential Co doTERRA team a couple years back was SO good for me. My mentor, Kelly, not only pulled me into a team of awesome women, included me in social events, and helped me find opportunities to share oils and earn some extra income, but she also was a loving support in the midst of emotional trauma recovery, sickness, and more. She was always aware of me and loving me. Kelly, and our entire team, gave me life and purpose when I was at my lowest.

photo by megan mitchell

I love doTERRA—as a company and as a product—and I intend to keep using doTERRA. They are top notch and I can’t recommend them enough! But I realized that having this as a little side business for me is taking too much mental energy now—mental energy that I think it’s time for me to shift back to other pursuits, like hosting yoga workshops!

I’m still using doTERRA—but just as a wholesale customer instead of a wellness advocate. I still recommend doTERRA to anyone. I still love using these oils and products every single day. I still think a wholesale account is a great deal! And I still think the Daily Essential Co is a great team, and if you want to be a part of it, go talk to Kelly (@lemonsandlight)—Tell her Allie sent you!

I’m excited for all that is to come, especially with this extra mental space to use!

On Adversity — Written August 2017

Written August 2017*

This year alone, I have felt the consequences from my own actions, the actions of others, sometimes both, and
sometimes neither—because sometimes hard times just come, no matter how hard we try to prevent them. I
have shed countless tears asking God to change my circumstances, asking Him “Why?” and there are still
things that I don’t have that answer to. I wanted life to be what I had planned it to be, and truthfully, there are
times when I still feel a deep sense of loss when I think about what could have been—but God has given me
more, and that’s what I’m going to talk about today.

Brother Williams asked me to speak about, quote, “my struggles and the way I am trying to overcome them
one by one.” Which is a lofty subject! My struggles, one by one! I’m grateful that, as my heart started pounding,
I looked over to my mirror and saw quotes that I have hung up throughout the last few months, and decided to
divide up my talk by these quotes. I also intend to speak about both the major struggles in our lives, and the
day-to-day quest to turn our weaknesses to strengths, come closer to our Savior, and work toward that eternal
goal of perfection, which, I should note, is not expected of us anytime soon, thank goodness!

To begin, Elder Robert D. Hales states: “If you are suffering deeply, with others or alone, I urge you to let the
Savior be your caregiver. Lean on His ample arm. Accept His assurances, “I will not leave you comfortless: I
will come to you,” he promises.”

There are a couple things worth sharing that friends have told me in my own dark times, such as: Let emotions
be a visitor, not a permanent resident. Let emotions come and go as waves. Feel the pain/sadness/anger/etc.,
but don’t dwell there. And, one of my favorite reminders, Pain is a tunnel, not a cave. Again, pain is a tunnel, not a cave.
You will get through it.

In Elder Oak’s talk “Adversity,” he shares a lesson he learned about cattle when they face severe winter
storms. However, I first heard this story from another source—from a blog post about healing from betrayal
trauma—and I’m going to quote from that right now, as I connect with the wording a bit more.

The author states, “Cattle are known for their timid nature and when the wild prairie land storms approach, they
often run away from the storm, the wind at their backs. For them, it makes the most sense. It’s easier to run
away with the wind at your back. But, the cost is this: the winds often overtake the cattle, and they struggle
longer in the chaos of the storm.

“Buffalo are quiet, fierce creatures, and when the wild prairie land storms come, they often turn into the wind.
They stand with their great heads down, feet grounded and their shoulders up, bearing the brunt of the storm.
It’s hard work for a lone buffalo. But, when her tribe surrounds her, they gather together, shoulder to shoulder
and deliberately step into the wind. And, the gift is this: the tribe is bound together in strength and they walk
through the storm together, passing more quickly through the winds and chaos.”

The two things I learn from this story are: 1. We are better off facing the storm, feet grounded and shoulders
up, than hiding, numbing, running away, or falling back on any other negative coping mechanism. And 2. We
don’t have to face the storm alone. We have a loving Heavenly Father who we can pray to, scripture we can
read from, a patriarchal blessing we can read to remember our eternal worth, priesthood blessings to receive,
and surely many more sources of divine aid available to us.

Aside from divine aid, I have also been very fortunate to have close friends around me who have had my back
in my darkest moments, who love me no matter what and let me know that. I hope to always be that kind of
friend to those around me. I’ve found that oftentimes, burdens aren’t nearly as heavy when we have a loving,
trustworthy friend by our side. If you are carrying a burden and feel the need to keep it hidden from every
person around you, I urge you to reconsider. Greater light will come into your life as you prayerfully find
support, whether it be from the Bishop, which I highly, highly encourage, or from a trustworthy friend.

In his talk, Elder Oaks focuses on how we respond to adversity. He states, “Our responses [to adversity] will
inevitably shape our souls and ultimately determine our status in eternity. Because opposition is divinely
decreed for the purpose of helping us to grow, we have the assurance of God that in the long view of eternity it
will not be allowed to overcome us if we persevere in faith. We will prevail. Like the mortal life of which they are
a part, adversities are temporary. What is permanent is what we become by the way we react to them.”

I can testify that that is true: it doesn’t matter whether or not we experience trials and adversity in our lives,
because each of us has and will—but it matters how we respond to our trials and adversity: Do we hold onto
God and to whatever testimony we have? Or do we turn away from God—in anger, rebellion, grief, or hiding in
shame?

I have not always been the best at holding onto God in the midst of adversity, but it usually doesn’t take me too
long to realize that I’m better off with God than without Him. If I am conversing with God in prayer, studying my
scriptures, finding time to focus on Him through my day, and striving to keep the commandments and the
covenants I have made—regardless of anything going on in my life, I still have even an ounce of peace that I
know the world cannot give me. It can only come from one place, and that is my Father in Heaven.
Friends, God did not change my circumstances, no matter how much I begged and pleaded, but I am a much
stronger, compassionate, understanding, and resilient woman than I used to be. Those are the gifts I can take
with me through eternity.

Part 2! The day-to-day quest to turn our weaknesses to strengths, come closer to our Savior, and work toward
perfection. I should note, this is very connected to adversity for me, because I often become very aware of my
shortcomings in those darker times, then take the time to strengthen those shortcomings, learn from my
mistakes, in the time following. Elder Oaks quoted author Elaine Cannon when she said, “When we are
pushed, stung, defeated, embarrassed, hurt, rejected, tormented, forgotten—when we are in agony of spirit
crying out ‘why me?’ we are in a position to learn something.”

A few months back, I was studying Elder Sabin’s last conference talk and this sentence stood out to me:
“When we are fully committed and ‘all in,’ heaven shakes for our good.” When I heard this, I knew I wasn’t
where I wanted to be. I wasn’t experiencing any earth shaking adversity, but I saw the subtle areas I could
improve upon in my life. Elder Sabin’s promise—that heaven will shake for our good if we are fully committed
to the gospel of Jesus Christ— is something I want. I’ve had this quote up on my mirror for about two or three
months now. Even if I can’t see the fullness of it yet, it is still something I work toward, and is worth doing the
refining work for.

Turning our weaknesses to strengths, learning to rely on God, and all of those worthwhile day-to-day
endeavors are a PROCESS.

One of my favorite talks is entitled “On Being Worthy” by Marvin J. Ashton. I highly recommend it. Of this
process of perfection, he states: “The speed with which we head along the straight and narrow path isn’t as
important as the direction in which we are traveling. That direction, if it is leading toward eternal goals, is the
all-important factor.”

Or, in other words, it doesn’t matter how fast we are going, we just need to keep moving forward.

I still have those hard times that I spoke about earlier. I still get triggered. I still carry some pain about the past,
and fears about the future. But I’m working on them, and many other day-to-day goals, one at a time. Not
stressing about it, but being mindful about the things I want to work on, often just one at a time. I write notes
and reminders on sticky notes, on my hand, on my phone. I journal about them. I even have a reminder on my
necklace for one of the things. I talk to God about it. I do my best, and practice forgiving myself when I fall
short. Because I do. We all do. That’s why life is a process. ETERNITY is a process.

One thing that I feel I can share about right now is how I’m learning to let go. This is so hard for me. This year,
I’ve had to learn to let go of people, expectations, hurt, and sometimes even hope. When I think I have
mastered letting go, I am given more to let go of. Layer after layer of things to let go of. It’s been painful. It’s
been heartbreaking. At times, I’ve felt a deep sense of loss and grief.

But it’s become easier. I struggle a bit less when I need to let go of something or someone in my life. I have
greater faith in God and His plan, knowing that it is far better than my own. And I have hope that things will all
work out however they’re supposed to. These are things that I’ve had to learn, practice, and be mindful about,
instead of reverting to fear. Again, it’s a process.

___

 

*This was a talk that I gave in church in August 2017, and I thought of it again today—I NEEDED it today. So if you are reading this now, I hope it offers you some light today! 🙂

Food these days

I just ate a WHOLE PACK of chocolate chip cookies, and they tasted SO GOOD. Sure, I didn’t mean to eat the whole pack, but also, I feel okay having done that. And that feels good. (Though I realize I should probably stick with the single serve cookies).

The thing is, sugar doesn’t bother my stomach. Gluten doesn’t bother my stomach. I know those two are pretty common no-no’s, but I have several food sensitivities, and those two things are fine. (Now if I ate 10,000 M&M’s and chased that with 20,000 pancakes, we’d probably have a problem, but you know).

Two of the most prominent sensitivities I have (and that are most often found in everyday food items) are dairy and soy.

I can eat dairy, but my gut definitely feels it. If I eat too much soy, it affects my hormones/emotions, so I aim to avoid it altogether. (Hence the dairy and soy free cookies I linked above. Mmm.)

There are also several little sensitivities that I have as well, like a lot of fruits and nightshade vegetables. But the main two, again, are dairy and soy.

Remember that sugar detox I did earlier this year, and how skewed my relationship with food was in the several weeks following that? This week, I finally feel like I’m back to a good place with food. Here are some of the steps I’ve gone through to get here:

Sugar Detox (rarely felt satisfied, though I felt other physical benefits which were nice)

Binge Eating (toward the end of the detox, and continuing for a few weeks afterward. I just couldn’t feel satisfied)

Tracking Food (in the MyFitnessPal app for a few days. This helped me simply observe what I was eating, and be more mindful about how much I was consuming, without judgment)

Counting Macros (on and off for a couple of weeks, to specifically observe how many carbs/proteins/fats I was consuming, learn about that, and be more mindful about it)

Letting Go (and eating without tracking or judgment)

Eliminating Dairy and Soy (my most common sensitivities)

Different things work for different people, and I think I personally needed to explore my relationship with food even just briefly in these different ways to get to where I am now.

I had eliminated dairy and soy before the sugar detox, but somehow, during those 3 weeks of no-sugar and following weeks of distorted eating habits, I had forgotten how to eat to feel good. What would I eat for meals? For snacks? I just couldn’t remember. Over the past few months I’ve been re-discovering foods that I used to love, that I had forgotten about.

For example, on Tuesday I suddenly craved a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, so I bought a jar of store-bought peanut butter and a loaf of bread for probably the first time since that detox. I ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at work that day, and they were SO GOOD. And it FELT so good to enjoy it!

When I eat these foods like cookies and PB&J sandwiches (as long as they’re dairy free and soy free), I feel full and satisfied, but not bloated, gassy, or sick. When I’m eating foods like bananas, tofu, red peppers, cheese, all natural fruit snacks, watermelon, avocado, and a bunch of other random “healthy” items, I feel a level of discomfort—ranging from a sour stomach, to 4-hours of intense can’t-move-from-the-fetal-position-or-talk-or-think nausea (that’s avocado).

What I want you to know from this post is:

1. Every body is different, and every body has different needs/sensitivities. Maybe eliminating gluten or dairy or sugar etc. is for you, and maybe it’s not! I really don’t believe that there’s ONE way to eat to feel good (if I followed every healthy-eating-diet recommendation, I’d probably be dead. Yikes!) If you think your body could be performing or feeling better, perhaps try eliminating common allergens for a few days/weeks, then slowly reintroducing them back into your diet one at a time. This will help you see how your body reacts to each one. If you want to learn more about this, I recommend the book The Virgin Diet, which outlines this whole process. (Check your local library!)

You could also get an allergy test at your doctor’s office, but even then, the results won’t be perfect. I did a skin test a few years back, plus a blood test to double check a few of the allergens, and some of the things that came up don’t bother me enough to worry about, and some of the things that make me sick to my stomach didn’t come up at all! It did offer me a lot of insight (and confirmed some of the suspicions I had about dairy and soy, both of which I had reactions to), but eliminating then later reintroducing possible allergens is the best way to know your individual sensitivities.

2. I’ve been eating cookies and PB&J and I finally feel happy and satisfied, body and soul. That really was the reason I started writing this post—ha!

I should also note that I still have a green smoothie every day. I still incorporate a lot of vegetables and good things into my diet. I’ve been focusing a lot on hydrating well and fueling well, especially with all of my athletic goals I have this year. I’m sure that I will continue to refine my eating habits as needed to reach these goals. But for right now, I feel pretty good where I’m at.

*P.S. Photo is of a dairy-free and soy-free pizza I got the other day from Blaze Pizza. Mmm!! The allergy finder on their website is awesome. I indicated what allergies I have and it told me everything on their menu I could eat. It was AWESOME. And their crust is dairy and soy free, as is their vegan cheese (that’s always hit or miss with the soy). It was SO GOOD.

** P.P.S. This post contains some Amazon Affiliate links, which means that if you purchase these products through these links, I’ll receive a small % of the sale. Which is cool! So thank you if you do ever buy anything from my blog through these affiliate links!

I’m back!

Shin splint recovery continued!

I started feeling knee and shin pain on March 24 after a 6 mile downhill run. I was in denial at first, still cross training and throwing in a couple trail runs (softer surface) the next week, but at a massage appointment on March 31, my massage therapist confirmed it: shin splints. Gratefully, they weren’t TOO bad at that point, but the signs were there. I was determined to heal up as quickly as I could and get back to running!

I tried to do a bit of cross training (stationary bike, elliptical, strength training), but my legs were just tender, and not having it. I stopped. I did the things I shared in my last post (and a couple other things I shared in my last email newsletter). I rested. It was difficult. Stuff was also happening in my personal life and I didn’t have my normal outlet (running and exercise) to help me work through it.

I realized during a walk one day that I was feeling it more in parts of my knees, which made me even more nervous (shin splints I had dealt with before, but knee problems I had not). Even though I was concerned about my knees, it still felt nice to be able to narrow down the cause even more. Everything is connected, you know. So I started caring for my knees even more with KT Tape and icing—as opposed to focusing primarily on my shins, which were starting to feel better after the few days off.

While I was trying to fall asleep late one night, I picked up my phone and wrote out a training plan to still get the runs I wanted to in before my next race. I planned to take just over two full weeks off before starting to ease back into running (at the time of writing that plan, that still gave me just under two weeks remaining of no running). I looked at that training plan the next morning and was kicking myself for scheduling so much time off, but knew that this was still a wise plan to stick to.

*During this break, you should know that every day I was researching different races and training plans, getting excited to be back at it. Haha!

Last Monday morning—just a few days after I had written that training plan—my quads had a strange strain to them, but I still had the thought, “I’m going to run today.”

I didn’t expect this thought. According to the late-night plan I had written, I still had a full week of rest left. But when my intuition tells me something, I listen. I packed my running gear with me as I went off to work that day.

I can’t tell you how good it felt to run again. I chose a mostly-flat trail that I was familiar with, wore shoes that I knew my feet felt good in (I knew my shoes would affect my shins, knees, and everything else as well), took the pace very easy, and enjoyed every second. I had my good friend’s running playlist playing in my ears (a mix of gangster rap and alternative hits from a few years earlier, haha!), and the warm sun kissing my shoulders.

The next day I was on the ARC trainer at the gym. The day after that I did another trail run. Still taking it easy, still icing my legs after every exercise, still gently stretching and strengthening. But let me tell you, it feels so good.

I guess the point of this post is to tell you: your body knows best. If your body says “Something’s wrong,” then slow down and figure out what. If it says “I need rest,” then let your body rest. If your body says, “I can shake this out. Let’s give it a shot,” then it’s probably time to get moving.

In my limited experience, with any setback, I’ve always come back physically stronger, wiser in my training, and somehow even more enthusiastic about my training and the process than I was before! (And let’s hope that that experience proves to be true for every setback, in every area!)

It’s good to be back. I still don’t know what the plan is for this weekend or next week, but I’m grateful to be in this space of growth and potential.

Lastly, RUNNING IS SO MUCH FUN!! Haha

How I’m helping my body heal from shin splints

I feel like I haven’t posted much on Instagram lately because I am CRANKY about this injury—my first shin splints in probably 7 years. I’m quite bummed about it. I was in denial at first because they weren’t as bad as I remember them being 7 years ago, but my massage therapist confirmed it: shin splints (and thank GOODNESS they aren’t as bad as they were 7 years ago!). I’m pretty sure I know exactly what caused them, and I am moving forward with a plan to not only heal these shin splints (quickly, I hope), but remedy the cause of them by adjusting my training from here on out.

I’ve decided to share some of what I’m doing to help my body heal—both to reaffirm it for myself* and also in case anyone else may need a little guidance in this area.

*Reaffirming it for myself because I’ve gone a little stir crazy about this. The last few days I’ve been so frustrated with my body, and frustrated that I can’t train and move how I want to. Part of how I’m going to deal with that is to actively work on recovering, and also hopefully find some good ways to fill my time! Hobbies or what have you. Still deciding exactly what to focus on though.

Here are some things that I’m doing to heal:

  1. I’m taking Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex pills 1-2 times a day, with meals. These pills are a part of doTERRA’s Deep Blueline, though they aren’t the exact oils in the oil blend or lotion (both of which I love too, by the way). These pills are taken internally and are said to help support muscles and joints, soothe discomforts, and contains doTERRA’s “Tummy Tamer Blend.” I’ve been taking it in place on ibuprofen for about 2 months now and have been very pleased with it. While I usually take it as needed, I’ve been taking it more regularly over the past few days in the hopes that it will help in my body’s healing process.

I will say, these pills are rather expensive, which is why I haven’t tried them before now—but if you’re on a doTERRA team, placing regular wholesale orders, and doing that whole thing, a majority (if not all of) your monthly order will be free. To me, this makes these pills well worth it!

P.S. These pills contain: Frankincense, Turmeric, Ginger, Green Tea (caffeine-free), Pomegranate, Grape Seed, Resveratrol, Peppermint Leaf, and Caraway Seed.

P.P.S. As always, contact me if you want more info on anything doTERRA, or on joining my team!

  1. I bought this roller stick to help roll out my muscles, especially around my shins. I’ve used a foam roller for quite some time now, but when my massage therapist recommended I roll out my tight calves and the area around my shins regularly to help heal and prevent future shin splints, I felt that this would be an easier way to do that. So far, I like it a lot!

  2. I’ve been adding collagen peptides to smoothies! Truth be told, I ran out of collagen peptides a couple weeks back, and had been using bone broth in smoothies instead, just because I had that available at the time. But I’ve since put in another order for collagen peptides. This powder is unflavored and can easily be added to smoothies, drinks, baked goods, etc. (I add it to my green smoothies every day). It promotes healthy skin, joints, bones, hair, nails, etc. 

___

Of course, those three things are only part of how I’m healing from this. A lot of it is rest, some cross training, as well as icing my shins and knees multiple times a day.

If you’re in a similar boat, perhaps check out this article for some more recovery ideas (I’ve done quite a bit of research on this, but that article got straight to the point and gave great insights, I thought!). I also really loved the second half of this post by hungryrunnergirl (I love her) about how to move forward from running injuries.

Now here’s hoping my body heals up quickly!